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Cathy Winston
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Cathy Winston

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    Best singles holidays for meeting people

    By Cathy Winston, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays

    When you’re booking a singles holiday, one of the things people worry about is being alone. However much you enjoy your own company, the thought of a whole trip with nobody to speak to doesn’t appeal to many of us.

    But nor does the thought of trying to strike up conversation with strangers or being the odd one out in a group of friends or couples.

    So while all the holidays on this site are perfect for solo travellers, they can also be a way to make new friends – or meet that someone special. Typically, small group tours, activity holidays and house party hotels are the best ways to meet new people. None are dating holidays – just an easy and friendly environment to be sociable.

    Quick links

    Group tripsSpecialists – Activity holidaysHouse partiesRoom sharesEating together

    Join a group trip

    One of the most popular ways to meet new people on your travels is to join a group trip. These days you’ll find tours aimed at the over-50s as well as the under-30s, small groups or larger tours, and most destinations you can think of.

    So before you book, it’s worth checking which one is going to suit you best – my six questions to ask are a good starting point as you won’t be short of choice.

    If you’re new to solo travel or to group tours, you needn’t commit to weeks away either. You could take a short break to Iceland, for example. The singles-only specialist Just You runs escorted tours to Italy of between five and eight days.

    Or if you’re determined to find fellow lone adventurers, you can head well off the tourist track with a company like YellowWood Adventures, with a maximum of 12 in the group, and destinations such as Kyrgyzstan and Ethiopia to explore.

    Take Me To Africa offers small-group safari destinations, including South Africa and Namibia. There’s a limit of 12 people to each group and an average age range of 30 to 60.

    If you’d like to guarantee that everyone will be in a similar position, choose a singles-only tour, such as Cox & Kings’ trips which are exclusively for single travellers, visiting anywhere from Russia to IndiaCosta Rica and Peru.

    Friendship Travel has singles-only trips to Agadir on the coast of Morocco., while Saga has some great short-haul singles-only tours exclusively for over-50s, including Spain, the wine regions of Portugal and the Greek Islands.

    Specialist group tours

    The best group tours are often those run by specialist group tour operators – they use experienced guides and make sure that nobody feels left out.

    On the Go Tours are great for those who want a mix of ages and nationalities. See its exciting range of small-group tours in Turkey, for example. Or choose a country specialist. InsideAsia Tours is my personal recommendation for Burma and Vietnam, while its sister company InsideJapan Tours offers some of the best ways to experience Japan’s contrasts.

    Oasis Overland runs overland truck tours across the globe. Its fastest-growing region is Central Asia and the Silk Road, with itineraries from five days to three months. For example, the 20-day Bishkek to Ashgabat tour includes the legendary cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent.

    Tucan Travel says 60% of passengers on its overland tours in Africa arrive alone. These are great value safari holidays in groups of between 12 and 24 people, with the option of same-sex room share. Popular trips include the two-week East Africa Circuit, combining Kenya’s Masai Mara with Mountain Gorilla trekking in the Ugandan rainforest.

    Try an activity holiday

    An easy way to strike up a new friendship is finding something you’ve got in common. So with a trip themed around an activity, you’re guaranteed to have at least one shared interest with everyone there.

    Do you love food and walking in the countryside? Hedonistic Hiking specialises in Italy with graded walks, gourmet dining, fine wines and small sociable groups.

    Try one of the classical music breaks from Kirker Holidays, Martin Randall Travel’s literature and culture themed tours, or Peter Sommer’s archaeological holidays in Turkey, Greece and Italy.

    Join a wildlife tour, whether you fancy the cloud forests of Costa Rica or gorillas in Uganda. You can track down lemurs on a Wildlife Discovery Tour of Madagascar.

    If an active break is what you want, there’s everything from walking to mountain climbing and most options in between. Check out these UK walking holidays along with options around the world. For some serious hiking, try this trekking holiday in Iceland.

    Get into the saddle at one of the USA’s working ranches plus the chance to enjoy a more luxurious approach to riding at a resort ranch. Or try a more sedate chance to see the world’s spectacular scenery under your own steam on two wheels on a Skedaddle cycling break. Popular destinations include Spain, Italy, France, Cuba and Japan.

    Not to mention golf holidays for singles, yoga and skiing.

    House parties

    Joining a group tour isn’t the only way to ensure a ready-made set of travel companions. Instead of an anonymous hotel room, more single-friendly trips are promising a house party atmosphere with whole properties taken over for a holiday, letting you get to know the other guests without any pressure.

    Travel One offers house parties for singles at a four-star hotel in Calpe on the Costa Blanca, on the island of Ibiza and Mallorca, which is the site of its popular annual Autumn Party. For year-round sunshine the company also offers house parties in Lanzarote including a Christmas and New Year celebration.

    On the beautiful island of Crete, the Mistral Hotel is exclusively for singles with a house party atmosphere, double rooms with no supplements, two pools and on-site massages.

    Singles-only Friendship Travel has house parties in Rhodes as well as gulet cruises around Turkey and some of the smaller Greek islands. The company also has a the singles-only Forever Hotel in Turkey and a great range of Christmas and New Year breaks. The typical age range of guests is 35 to 65.

    Solos Holidays operates its own ClubSolos hotels in the Med – small, friendly, modestly priced accommodation close to beaches, bars and restaurants, where all the guests are travelling solo. Its portfolio includes Kayakoy Boutique Hotel in Turkey and the family-run Iraklis Apartments on Crete.

    Or try a floating house party. The luxury barge holidays from European Waterways have a maximum of 20 passengers, with everyone eating and exploring together, while off the coast of Scotland there are never more than eight aboard the St Hilda Sea Adventures cruises, where you’ll quickly feel like old friends.

    Share a room

    If a whole hotel full of guests doesn’t appeal, there’s always the option of sharing a room to make your first connection – something which is usually an option on group tours as well. American Sky, for example, guarantees it for some of their touring holidays.

    But it’s also an ideal compromise if you’d rather be free to plan your own days but still fancy a ready-made starting point when you do want to get chatting.

    You’ll normally find yourself paired up with another single (of the same gender) on a personal development holiday. Cortijo Romero’s week-long courses in Spain include mindfulness, tai chi and dance among other options, while destination yoga promises to find someone to share with if you choose.

    Eating together

    One of the biggest things that puts people off solo travel is the thought of eating alone. But whether you want to fly and flop on a beach or explore further, you’ll find more communal dining for singles, whatever your travel style. In fact, most group tours will involve dining around a single large table.

    It’s probably the perfect time to get chatting, as everyone relaxes together and conversation flows, especially if a few drinks are involved. Breathless Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic has communal tables in four of its restaurants, along with a guest chatroom if you’d rather meet online first.

    And mealtimes are often at the heart of holiday retreats, whether that’s a luxurious spa or a creative writing break in Greece.

    They’re certainly at the heart of cruising. Fred. Olsen’s cruises pair solo travellers together for dinner while Norwegian Epic’s Studio lounge is for singles only so you can get to know fellow cruisers, along with flexible dining so you’re not stuck at the same table for every meal.

    Check out our tips on where to holiday after a divorce or break up.

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    Last updated: 6 December 2019

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